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Robbery at Lacies in Folkestone is investigated by police

A business owner was left terrified after a man raided her shop and pointed a knife at her.

The hooded would-be robber entered Lacies, a specialist transgender shop in Folkestone, this afternoon and demanded money from the till.

Lacies owner Sue
Lacies owner Sue

He also tried to grab owner Sue Sheppard by the arm, although she managed to escape his grasp.

Police are now investigating the traumatising incident.

Ms Sheppard, 58, said: "It was shocking, and terrifying.

"It happened so quickly.

"And it was only after I thought 'a man came at me with a knife'."

Ms Sheppard, who lives above the store with her partner Ken, said she was upstairs when she heard someone enter the shop at 3pm.

Lacies In Folkestone
Lacies In Folkestone

But when she went downstairs a man, wearing a parka, with the hood up, a cap and gloves, was in the store and shouted 'give me the money'.

Ms Sheppard, who opened Lacies in 1999, explains: "I sort of looked at him and he repeated it, saying 'give me the money now' very seriously.

"He then pointed the knife at me. It was a big kitchen knife.

"He took a couple of steps, coming towards me and he tried to grab me.

"I'm quite fit so I turned and went to the stairs and shouted up at my partner to call the police, I said it loud and repeated it so he would know it was serious.

"I hoovered there, and the man went to the till.

Sue Sheppard had a knife pointed at her during the raid (20151047)
Sue Sheppard had a knife pointed at her during the raid (20151047)

"It's an electronic one and he had no luck. He sort of panicked and left.

"I have had two shops one in Brighton for 11 years and this one for 20 years and its the first time anyone has come at me with a knife.

"He came tooled up - gloves, parka with hood up and hat hiding his face. He was on a mission."

Police were very quick to arrive on the scene, and CCTV of the incident has now been passed to them.

Despite the scary event, Ms Sheppard remained open this afternoon.

Lacies is one of the only specialist stores for transgender people in the south east. It sells underwear, make up, wigs, stockings and more.

But today's incident is not the first time it has been raided.

Last year two men broke into the building through the front door in the early hours of the morning.

Cash was stolen and the door and window damaged.

A spokesman for Kent Police said today: "Officers are currently in Dover Road, Folkestone following reports of a robbery in progress.

"It was reported to Kent Police at 3.17pm on Friday, October 25.

"No injuries have been reported and it is not thought anything has been taken.

"Officers are at the scene conducting enquiries."

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